Health Information Management

Associate Director’s Note: Three days with AHIMA/AHDI

CDI Strategies, August 20, 2015

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Last week (August 6-8) ACDIS Director Brian Murphy let me venture out in the world. I’m not a really big traveler. I have a comfy little home about 20-minutes north of Boston and I’m a bit of a homebody. (Someday, I’ll tell you some about what a horrible traveler I am. There’s a missed flight, a garment bag, and 1980s laptop involved.)

Nevertheless, when the opportunity came to attend the joint American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA)/Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI) meeting in Alexandria, Virginia, we decided it might be time for me to board a plane and stretch my wings a bit.

I needn’t have feared, of course. As soon as I entered the Hilton Mark Center I encountered ACDIS Advisory Board member James Fee and his team from Huff DRG. After hugs all around, I relaxed to peruse the schedule for the CDI Summit and was thrilled at the number of ACDIS friends, past-and-present Advisory Board members, conference presenters, and exhibitors listed.

On the hotel shuttle, I recognized Lorena Chicoye, MD, Corporate Medical Director for managed care at Baptist Health of South Florida from the 2015 ACDIS national conference and introduced myself. We not only had a lovely conversation about all the amazing things to do in and around Alexandria but spoke at length about the challenges of wearing several CDI-related hats and managing an effective CDI program. The next morning Chicoye spoke on a panel let by Melinda Tully, MSN, CDS, CDIP, from J.A. Thomas and Associates, a Nuance Company, and we later chatted over lunch as well.

Shannon Newell, RHIA, CCDS, spoke about patient safety indicator 90, John Zelem, MD, FACS, from Executive Health Resources spoke about engaging physicians in CDI efforts, and former ACDIS Advisory Board member Susan Belley, M.Ed., RHIA, CPHQ, of 3M talking about incorporating medical transcriptionists into the sphere of CDI.

I learned a lot during my short trip. I learned that President Franklin Roosevelt had the Jefferson Memorial built so that it could be seen from the White House. I learned that Archie and Edith Bunker’s chairs are enshrined in the National Museum of American History (so is Kermit the Frog). I learned that Old Town Alexandria is five times the size of any quaint New England town while somehow remaining just as quaint. And I learned that as much as there is to know about CDI, that there is always more to learn, new perspectives to obtain, and new insights to glean.

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